Queen takes centre stage as thousands line streets for Platinum Jubilee flypast – in pictures

Eighteen royals including Her Majesty stepped out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the flypast

Published Last updated

A delighted Queen took centre stage at her historic Platinum Jubilee celebrations as she greeted crowds from the Buckingham Palace balcony, surrounded by her family.

Huge cheers erupted from the thousands of well-wishers packed onto The Mall in central London as the monarch emerged for the special flypast after Trooping the Colour.

Wearing sunglasses, the 96-year-old sovereign looked joyful as she surveyed the patriotic scenes, giving broad smiles as she enjoyed the aircraft display.

It was the second of two appearances from the monarch on the balcony on Thursday – the start of the special extended Jubilee weekend marking her 70-year-reign.

The Queen emerged on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the flypast
The Queen emerged on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the flypast
Red Arrows flew over Buckingham Palace
Red Arrows flew over Buckingham Palace
Members of the public filled the Mall before the flypast
Members of the public filled the Mall before the flypast

Earlier, she joined her cousin the Duke of Kent on the famous frontage to take a salute of her soldiers returning from Trooping the Colour, after the Prince of Wales deputised for her on the parade ground.

Eighteen royals including the Queen stepped out to watch the high-profile flypast, with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis flanking the monarch.

The Queen leaned over to chat animatedly with her four-year-old great-grandson Louis, who at one stage covered his ears, and reacted with his mouth wide open and eyes tightly shut as the aircraft thundered overhead.

He was also spotted resting his chin on his hand and waving towards the sky.

The six-minute flypast of more than 70 aircraft, including Apache helicopters, Typhoons and The Red Arrows, flew over the Palace.

Fifteen RAF Typhoons paid a special tribute to the monarch’s record-breaking reign, flying in the formation of the number 70, prompting smiles from the Queen.

Dressed in a dusky dove blue Angela Kelly coat which she wore for her official Jubilee portrait, and matching hat, the Queen was holding a walking stick and wearing the Guards’ Badge on her coat.

Among those on the balcony were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Among those on the balcony were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Fans were left amazed by the Red Arrows
Fans were left amazed by the Red Arrows

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were among the guests who earlier watched Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards from inside the Duke of Wellington’s former office, overlooking the parade ground.

They joined a host of more than 30 royals including Camilla and Kate and the Queen’s extended family including all of her grandchildren.

It is believed to be the first time Kate and Meghan have met in person since the Sussexes left in 2020 for a new life in America.

The crowds were earlier treated to the sight of George, Charlotte and Louis with proud parent Kate and their step-grandmother Camilla in a carriage procession.

As the spectators waved at the young royals the trio waved back in their first major public outing for a Jubilee and first carriage procession.

The monarch, who has mobility issues, deputised her usual role to future king, the Prince of Wales, who inspected the Guardsmen in their scarlet tunics and bearskins and acknowledging their salute.

But she passed a watchful eye over the servicemen, with the Duke of Kent by her side, on the balcony after their return from their display of procession marching.